Disease onset occurs ≥10 years following the initial exposure to asbestos.
Patients may be asymptomatic or have progressive shortness of breath.
CXR is the preferred initial test.
There is no definitive treatment.
Cigarette smoking cessation is important to reduce risk of lung cancer.
Prognosis is related to extent of fibrosis noted at diagnosis and past cumulative exposure to asbestos.
Asbestosis is diffuse interstitial fibrosis of the lung as a consequence of exposure to asbestos fibers.   Pleural abnormalities, which are also caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, include plaques that may or may not be calcified, diffuse pleural thickening, benign pleural effusions or rounded atelectasis. These pleural abnormalities may occur either in concordance with or in the absence of parenchymal fibrosis. 
Professor of Medicine
Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Michigan State University
KDR has been an expert witness for both defendants and plaintiffs in work-related lawsuits. KDR is also the author of several papers referenced in this topic.
Chief Medical Officer
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
HAA declares that he has no competing interests.
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Institute of Life Sciences
KL declares that he has no competing interests.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
TJK declares that he has no competing interests.
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